Laverne Cox Drives Home the True Message of Pride 2020

Hilary Weaver
Photo credit: Jennifer Graylock - Getty Images

From ELLE

In lieu of Pride marches and parades in the streets this year, we get virtual events. These events are not the same as wearing glitter, waving rainbow flags, and dancing with our best friends at afterparties, but they certainly aren't lacking in joy. This Pride month, the Black Lives Matter protests drove home the origins of Pride; the Stonewall riots of 1969 were largely led by transgender women of color. In her message for Global Pride 2020, Laverne Cox got to the heart of Pride month and what our priorities should be during this time. She stood in front of a lit-up sign that said, "trans is beautiful":

"In the 1980s, many parades around the world marched for the AIDS crisis," she said. "And in recent times marriage equality and transgender rights. As a diverse community, we stand up to hatred together—now and always. We will always call out racism. We stand in solidarity and will not be silenced as long as those in our community endure these atrocities, despite the challenges our global community is currently facing living against the backdrop of COVID-19. Global Pride 2020 seeks to forge onward to the future. While this year's Pride looks different from the Prides of yesteryear, let's not forget the main reason we commemorate Pride. We fight oppression, violence, and discrimination. We lift up those living in intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity, class, race, and other marginalized identities, she said. "We stand united on a global stage. We create space to advocate, educate, and celebrate. Exist, persist, resist."

On June 14, thousands of people showed up for a march at the Brooklyn Museum in honor of Black transgender people who are violently murdered each year. The march came after Black transgender women Riah Milton and Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells were murdered within 24 hours of each other. Cox has long been a voice about the injustice that transgender women face in the world.

"Your attraction to me as a trans woman is not a reason to kill me," Cox said in a 2019 interview on BuzzFeed News' Twitter morning show, AM to DM. "There's this whole sort of myth that trans women are out there tricking people, that they deserve to be murdered, and that's not the case."

Cox is also the executive producer of Netflix documentary Disclosure, which brings light to how transgender people have been portrayed in TV and film for years.

We are at a crossroads as social movements are in direct conversation with Hollywood. Disclosure is the manifestation of this moment for transgender people and their representation," the film's website says. "The increasing visibility of transgender people is exhilarating, and signals the beginnings of positive social change. Nevertheless, violence against trans people persists including the surge of efforts to constrain transgender civil rights. From current bathroom bills that paint trans women as male predators, to a Presidential military ban on trans service, there is an attempt to legislate trans people out of public life. Using history to illuminate the present, Disclosure explores this fear."

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